This Cilantro Lime Chicken is easy, versatile and full of flavor. Cooked on the grill or the stove top, marinated chicken is topped with a fresh avocado salsa for a healthy great tasting dinner.
Why this Recipe Works
We can’t get enough of the cilantro-lime combo. The marriage of fresh, aromatic and tangy flavors works beautifully as the base for sauces, marinades and more.
Today’s recipe combines these two star ingredients with garlic and Mexican spices to make a marinade so delicious you’ll be tempted to eat it with a spoon.
- The spicy zesty marinade elevates ordinary chicken breast to delicious heights.
- You can prep everything ahead of time then grill or pan cook the chicken when it’s time for dinner.
- To add even more fresh flavor, we topped our Cilantro Lime grilled chicken with homemade avocado salsa. This easy healthy meal is a hit at our house!
- Chicken breasts. Chicken thighs can be used as an alternative. Make sure they’re boneless and skinless. If using bone-in chicken, you will need to adjust the cook time.
- Seasoning. We use garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, and paprika for today’s recipe. You can totally swap it out and use taco seasoning instead. Will taste slightly different, but still delicious!
- Lime juice. You’ll need about 3 limes to get enough juice for both the marinade and the avocado salsa.
- Jalapeno. Adds a little heat and spice to today’s chicken recipe. Skip it or use less if you don’t like spice.
Marinate the chicken: Add the chicken breast to a large ziploc freezer bag with all the marinade ingredients. Set it aside in the fridge for up to 12 hours. The longer you marinate, the better flavor!
How to grill chicken: When you’re ready to grill your chicken, remove it from the marinade. Place chicken breasts on a hot grill. Cook for about 7 minutes on each side.
You should see nice sear marks on both sides of the chicken. Use a meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F.
Add topping. Remove chicken breasts and serve immediately with a spoonful of avocado salsa on top.
Tips & Tricks
- The longer you marinate the chicken the more tender it will be when it’s cooked. We like to prep everything in the morning then let the chicken marinade in the fridge until dinner!
- You can prep the avocado salsa in advance too. Make sure to cover it and keep it chilled until you’re ready to eat.
- Pound chicken breasts to even thinness before cooking to make sure they all cook evenly.
- Whip up a batch of our delicious artichoke jalapeno dip on the side.
To cook cilantro lime chicken on the stove, preheat a large pan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then cook chicken for 6 to 7 minutes on each side, or until fully cooked through.
You don’t have to let it marinade for hours but try to give it at least 30 minutes. Marinating not only helps imbibe the chicken with flavor but also makes the meat perfectly tender and juicy.
Leftover cilantro lime grilled chicken can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. It’s delicious sliced up and served cold on a salad the next day for a quick lunch!
For food safety, it’s best to use a meat thermometer to test the internal temperature of the chicken. Poke the center of a chicken breast with the thermometer. If it reads at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit, you’re good to go!
You can also test for doneness by slicing open the center of the chicken breast. When chicken is fully cooked there will be no pink in meat and its juices will run clear.
More Easy Chicken Dinners
- Crack Chicken Casserole
- Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
- Grilled Chicken Tenders
- Baked Coconut Chicken
- Tuscan Chicken Recipe
- Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings
- Instant Pot Chicken Taco Bowl
For the chicken
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 limes, juiced (about 4 Tablespoons)
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
For the salsa
- 2 avocados, diced
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- In a large ziploc freezer bag, add chicken breast, garlic, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, lime juice, and cilantro. Seal closed, shake until mixed, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes up to 12 hours.
- Grill the chicken in a large skillet with 2 Tablespoon of olive oil or on the grill. Cook for about 6-7 minutes per side, depending on the thickness. The internal temperature of cooked chicken is 165 degrees F.
- While the chicken is cooking, assemble the avocado salsa. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, can be made several hours ahead of time too.
- When ready to serve, spoon salsa on top of grilled chicken. Serve with cilantro lime cauliflower rice if desired.
- Be sure to pound chicken breasts to even thickness, this allows for them to cook evenly on the stove or grill.
- The longer you allow the chicken to marinate, the more tender it becomes. I like to put it in the marinade in the morning and cook at dinner.
- Chicken thighs are a great alternative!
- See blog post for more recipe tips and tricks.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 454Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 102mgSodium: 484mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 10gSugar: 4gProtein: 41g
Cilantro Lime Chicken will have everyone racing to the dinner table! This recipe makes it easy to serve your family a healthy dinner made from scratch, even on busy weeknights.